Friday, January 26, 2007


There is something about losing huge amounts of money that concentrates the mind. This is what Ford Motor is going through at the moment. From a PR perspective, the company is handling a prolonged crisis, but it is a crisis in which there is less argument about what to do and more urgency to get things done. This kind of pressure is exhausting but exhilarating. The reason? Actions that should have been taken years ago are moving forward. There is loss during this period. Thousands have left the company and hundreds more will go. There is gain too in shrinking to a competitive weight. What Ford must remember is its business. The company has to sell cars -- lots of them -- to recover.

What management has to do in communications during this period is to keep workers focused who might otherwise grieve for what was while losing faith in what is to be. I do hope company leaders are spending much more time communicating internally. If they aren't, the whole process can go awry.

Having grown up in a Ford family, I have a soft spot for the brand, but on the other hand, I haven't owned one of their vehicles for years. The company's quality took a dive, and I went to Japanese cars. The last Ford I owned was a pickup truck. It was faithful but paint literally flaked off of it. Ford has a journey to win back someone like me. I hope they complete the course. I would like to own one of their vehicles again some day.


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